New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn't formally announced his intent to run for president in 2016, but his State of the State speech Tuesday is expected to offer some clues about his looming decision. Christie is scheduled to deliver his fifth State of the State to the Legislature in Trenton beginning at 2 p.m., outlining his vision for New Jersey's education, budget and fiscal goals as the political world waits for a potential presidential announcement.
Christie is expected to address Tuesday some of his pet policy issues, including pension reform, New Jersey's job creation record, legal gambling and public safety. It wouldn't be unusual for Christie to comment on national topics as well, especially if he really is weighing a White House bid. "This speech may be the first time a wider audience is hearing how he brought Democratic leaders to the table to achieve a series of big, bold reforms during the last five years," Christie's office said Tuesday.
Christie's speech comes as he is facing ethics questions over his recent trips to see the Dallas Cowboys, his favorite team, in the NFL playoffs. The outings were paid for by the team's owner. Christie is, of course, no stranger to controversy. His 2014 State of the State speech came days after he was embroiled in a scandal over the closing of the George Washington Bridge the previous September.
National Democrats seized Tuesday's speech as an opportunity to release a new attack ad. The video paid for by the Democratic National Committee accused Christie of putting himself ahead of the state. "New Jersey Firstish," says the video.
Other potential 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. A live stream of Christie's State of the State speech can be watched below.
“The goal is to kickstart his presidential campaign and sound off on the themes he’s going to use,” Patrick Murray, a Monmouth University pollster and political analyst, told MSNBC.